Mapping raised bogs with an iterative one-class classification approach

Benjamin Mack, Ribana Roscher, Stefanie Stenzel, Hannes Feilhauer, Sebastian Schmidtlein, Björn Waske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Land use and land cover maps are one of the most commonly used remote sensing products. In many applications the user only requires a map of one particular class of interest, e.g. a specific vegetation type or an invasive species. One-class classifiers are appealing alternatives to common supervised classifiers because they can be trained with labeled training data of the class of interest only. However, training an accurate one-class classification (OCC) model is challenging, particularly when facing a large image, a small class and few training samples. To tackle these problems we propose an iterative OCC approach. The presented approach uses a biased Support Vector Machine as core classifier. In an iterative pre-classification step a large part of the pixels not belonging to the class of interest is classified. The remaining data is classified by a final classifier with a novel model and threshold selection approach. The specific objective of our study is the classification of raised bogs in a study site in southeast Germany, using multi-seasonal RapidEye data and a small number of training sample. Results demonstrate that the iterative OCC outperforms other state of the art one-class classifiers and approaches for model selection. The study highlights the potential of the proposed approach for an efficient and improved mapping of small classes such as raised bogs. Overall the proposed approach constitutes a feasible approach and useful modification of a regular one-class classifier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalISPRS Journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Biased Support Vector Machine
  • Land cover classification
  • Natura 2000
  • RapidEye
  • Remote sensing


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